Pisto is the name of a Spanish dish typical from the Region of Murcia and La Mancha. It is made of tomatoes, onions, aubergine or courgettes, green and red peppers and olive oil. It is similar to ratatouille and is usually served warm to accompany a dish or with a fried egg and bread.
Every Spanish home has its own version of this delicious staple. However the friends we were staying with in Spain have a Moroccan housekeeper, Nagat, and her version of Pisto is so delicious that I had to learn how to make it. Whenever we arrive to stay with our friends one of the things we look forward to is enjoying some of Nagat’s Pisto with thinly sliced French bread and some other tapas offerings washed down with a cold glass of rosé sitting on our friend’s terrace – bliss!
Spanish Pisto with a Moroccan twist
2 large tomatoes, skinned & sliced
2 aubergines with half the skin taken off (see pic on right) & chopped into bite size pieces
1 large onion, chopped into small pieces
1 red pepper chopped into small pieces
1 other pepper (Nagat used green peppers but the Spanish ones are much sweeter than ours so I suggest orange or yellow), chopped into small pieces
1 large clove garlic
1 vegetable stock cube
Small bunch of parsley, chopped up finely
Olive oil – a lot
1 tsp Garam Masala
1 tsp ground Cumin
1 tsp Turmeric
1 tsp Curry powder
1 tsp sweet Paprika
How to prepare
Put tomatoes and crushed garlic clove in small frying pan with 1 tablespoon of oil. Fry until liquid has evaporated and it has turned into a mush. Keep stirring and squashing whilst cooking. When done sprinkle with 1 vegetable stock cube and stir in. Add all the spices, and a good few grinds of black pepper and salt.
Meanwhile heat up a lot of oil and deep fry the aubergine – it may take two batches – for about 5 minutes until the aubergines are a bit brown.
After each batch drain in a colander and save the oil. Press the aubergine down with the back of a large metal spoon until most of the oil has been drained and the aubergines are also a bit of a mush.
Pour the oil back into the the pan and do the same with the second batch of aubergines. Again save the drained oil and put back in the pan with the onion and peppers. Fry for about 15 minutes and then drain and add them to the Aubergine andTomato mix.
Cook this over low heat until moist but no juice and be careful it does not burn.
Finally sprinkle with finely chopped parsley and do not stir.
Serve with thinly sliced French bread or crackers. My son loves it in a wrap with lettuce and some grated cheese or served with a fried egg on top. You will find so many uses for it and so it will disappear fast!
Check out my ‘Almost’ Ratatouille recipe too – just click here